Economy

Varoufakis’ Father Defends His Son After EU Praises “Significant Progress” Without Finance Minister

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by Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge.com

It has been a bad week for the Greek finance minister: first, under pressure from Europe,Tsipras was forced to sideline the “combatied” Varoufakis from future Troika negotiations, then his wife had to protect him from an attack by “young anarchists”, and now – adding insult to injury – an anonymous Greek government official as well as EU sources told AFP, Bloomberg and Reuters that, without Varoufakis present, Greece and its creditors have made “significant progress” and that there were “encouraging” signs from meetings over the weekend.

As a reminder, Greece is so desperate to get access to any money, last week its pensioners crashed a pension fund board meeting and formed long lines outside domestic banks demanding access to their cash which as delayed due to a “technical glitch.”

But the far bigger problem is that in the coming three months Greece will need to make billions in interest and maturity payments to Europe.

Which is why having shown Varoufakis who is boss, Europe is now once again in generous mood and will likely give Greece just enough cash with which Greece can repay what it owes to, well, Europe.

According to AFP, the talks, which began Thursday, were the first led by economist and junior foreign minister Euclid Tsakalotos, who last week replaced the controversial Varoufakis as head of Greece’s team of negotiators.

After months of acrimonious deadlock, “the revamped (Greek) Brussels group have clearly improved the process, with a clear schedule for the discussions… and with more experts present with more details,” one source said.

 

“Talks are constructive,” the source added. “I would even dare to say encouraging.” They will continue on Monday and could last until at least Wednesday, “which is a good sign”, the source said.

But while the Eurogroup has moved on from negotiating with Varoufakis, the Finance Minister still is confident he is in charge.

“Yes, I’m in charge. I’m still responsible for the talks with the Eurogroup,” he told the weekly Die Zeit on Thursday.

 

“I’m supported by various government members, not least by good friend Euclid Tsakalotos. The fact that some media are portraying as if he is replacing me in the talks is just another proof of how low journalistic standards have sunk,” he said.

 

Varoufakis claimed on Saturday that Greece could manage without a new “loan” if its debt was restructured.

 

Asked if it could do without bailout funds, Varoufakis told the Efimerida ton Sindakton daily: “Of course it can. One of the conditions for this to happen though, is an important restructuring of the debt.”

 

He also took a swipe at the eurozone, warning that if it “doesn’t change it will die”, adding that “no country, not only Greece, should have joined such a shaky common monetary system.”

Varoufakis is of course right. However, unless it gets some funds in the next days, if not hours, Grece will die first as the latest debt repayment schedule shows:

 

The reason why the Troika hatest Varoufakis: he tells the truth, even if he can’t quite make up his mind how to get what he wants: “he said it was “one thing to say we shouldn’t have joined the euro and it is another to say that we have to leave” because backtracking now would lead to “a unforeseen negative situation”.

Sadly for Varoufakis, his star is now setting almost as fast as it rose, and while last week it was his wife who rushed to his defense, now it is his father’s turn: “the maverick economist’s 90-year-old father, who still heads one of Greece’s leading steel producers, Halyvourgiki, jumped to his son’s defence, claiming his European counterparts were jealous of him.

Giorgos Varoufakis told the Greek daily Ethnos that the minister’s critics “want to run him down because he is competent. He is not like them. That is why they attack him.

 

“Yanis is a very good boy, and is always telling the prime minister what to do, which is why he adores him,” he added.

And is also why Varoufakis’ days as finance minister are numbered as long as Greece believes its future remains with the Eurozone, where the finance minister had made nothing but enemies.

Read More @ Zero Hedge.com 

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